Wildfires in Italy’s south claim two more lives

 REGGIO CALABRIA – The deadly wildfires that continue to rage across southern Italy have claimed two more lives, taking the death toll to four in the last seven days, police said on Thursday.

 The body of an elderly shepherd (77) has been found at a farmhouse in Grotteria, some 60 kilometres northeast of Reggio Calabria, where he had sought refuge.

 The fires have continued to hit the whole region relentlessly for days with Aspromonte and the areas near the municipalities of Grotteria, Gioiosa Ionica in Locride hardest hit.

 The situation in Sicily is also dire with a fatality recorded in Paterno, Catania. A 30-year-old farmer died while attempting to put out a fire on a farm in the Ponte Barca area. Transporting a barrel filled with water, the man was crushed and killed instantly when his tractor overturned while going round a bend.

 Fires are also raging in the Sicilian province of Syracusa, with the village of Sortino and the woods outside Ferla most affected. While in Pergusa, in the Enna area, families have been evacuated as flames threaten homes.

  Some five days ago, an aunt and nephew became the first victims of the Calabrian fires. Margherita Cilione (53) and Antonino Cilione (34), whose bodies were found at a rural property in San Lorenzo, in the province of Reggio Calabria, died while trying to save an olive grove from being engulfed by flames.